State Legislation to Push for Equal Graduation Opportunities 

State Assemblyman James Skoufis (D-Woodbury) and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara (D-Rotterdam), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Autism Spectrum Disorders, are pushing to pass a bill ensuring students with disabilities are guaranteed the opportunity to participate in their high school graduation ceremony. On Wednesday May 10 the assemblymembers along with Washingtonville Central School District officials, the Lermman Family whose son Zach is who the bill’s named after, and mental health advocates were at the district offices to push for the bill. Currently many school districts do not get to participate in their class commencement activities if they have no received a diploma. Even if the student has received a Skills and Achievement Commencement Credential or Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credential, they are not allowed to participate. This new legislation hopes to provide all students with the ability to join their cohort in a graduation ceremony.

East Ramapo Parents Push to Fail Budget 

East Ramapo school district parents are urging the community to vote “no” in the school’s annual budget vote. These parents believe the $232.6 million plan favors private-school students because $1.4 million in this plan is dedicated to restoring busing to private schools when public ones are closed. Many parents want activities and services to return to East Ramapo’s public schools instead. State laws require districts to provide equal transportation to all students living in a 15-mile radius. On Monday May 8 the school board hosted a public hearing about the budget, almost 75 people showed. Of the almost $2.5 million budget, the board’s plan calls for $152 million to be raised by increasing taxes by 2.49 perfect. If the budget fails, a second vote may take place or the school board can adopt a contingency budget requiring a zero percent growth in the district’s tax levy.

Officials Still Searching for Missing Rockland Girl

16 years ago a two-year-old in Suffern was allegedly kidnapped by her mother. The FBI and Rockland County Sheriff’s Office continue to look for Samantha Kibalo, who’s mother Ann, allegedly kidnapped hear in early 2002. It is believed the family could be traveling with a 12-pound red mini Tibetan Spaniel dog and frequent medical facilities as a pair. Anyone with information is asked to call the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office at 845-638-5400

Senate Passes Bill Naming Local Highway interchange After Thurgood Marshall

The NY Senate passed legislation early this week to rename the State Thruway and I-287 Interchange in the Village of Hillburn the “Thurgood Marshall Interchange.” Sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) the name change remembers Marshall who was an NAACP attorney before becoming a Supreme Court Justice who was involved in litigation in Hillburn more than a decade before Brown vs. Board of Education. New York was one of the first states to integrate schools. Hillburn was the first place in 1938 to pass a law overturning Jim Crow education laws.

Tick Warnings for 2017 Summer Increases 

Health officials are warning the public about the dangers of diseases from ticks as the warm summer months approach. Powassan, also known as “POW” virus disease is rare but the number of reported incidents has been increasing in recent years in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions. While there is no specific treatment for POW, victims suffering often receive hospitalization for respiratory support, intravenous fluids or swelling-reducing medicines. The Center for Disease Control recommends the use of tick repellant, checking for ticks after being outside and avoiding densely wooded areas.

Airbnb Provides Hudson Valley with Economic Boost 

Earlier this week Airbnb released an economic impact report showing the platform generated approximately $75 million in economic activity for the Hudson Valley. The report, created by HR&A Advisors explained the economic influence the home-sharing industry has created and how it benefits more than just a homeowner making some extra money. Some of the key findings included that Airbnb guests spend 26 percent of their time on recreation in the area while most traditional visitors only spend 11 percent, and 36 percent of guests spend time hiking, biking and exploring the outdoors. The company drove $41 million in direct spending in the Hudson Valley and the number of guests more than tripled between 2014 and 2016.

Georgia Sheriff exposes himself in public park

A Georgia county sheriff was caught exposing himself in a public park last weekend. DeKalb County Sheriff Jeffrey Mann allegedly exposed his genitals while walking toward a police officer on a bicycle. Upon realizing it was a cop on the bike, Mann fled the scene. He ran into oncoming traffic and stopped to tie his shoe before giving into the police. According to the police report Mann had condoms in his pockets.

FBI director who helped elect Trump gets unceremoniously fired

On Tuesday May 9 FBI Director James Comey was fired by President Donald Trump. The Trump administration claimed Comey was fired due to how he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation among other reason. Comey originally announced he was dropping the Clinton investigation, which angered Republicans, but shortly before the election re-opened the case into Clinton and her aides. Clinton and some Democrats believed this led to her defeat.

Days before being fired Comey requested more resources from the Department of Justice for the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s campaign connections with the Russian government. According to a White House Spokeswoman President Trump has been contemplating firing Comey since he took office.

Inmate Busted Trying to Bust out of RC Jail

A routine inspection in the Rockland County Jail on Tuesday turned out to be anything but routine. In a statement, Sheriff Louis Falco said 20 year-old Julio Lema-Caguana was busted trying to bust out of his cell using improvised tools to cut through the Plexiglas of his cell window. He also tried to remove concrete from the surrounding frame of another cell window. Lema-Caguana had originally been arrested on charges of sexual misconduct – he now faces additional charges, including attempted escape, promoting prison contraband and third degree criminal mischief. He was arraigned on the new charges and returned to the county jail on an additional $10,000 bail. He is due back court later today.

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